Outdoor Gear Lab Tests The Siskiu D7
Price List: $1,799 List
Pros: Reasonable price, comes with a dropper post, Cons: Non-boost fork, some cable rattle over rough terrain,
of terrain, efficient climber, playful on descents can be overwhelmed on aggressive trails
As the price of bikes continues to skyrocket, Polygon bucks that trend with their direct-to-consumer sales model and the affordable Siskiu D7. This short-travel bike has a sleek aluminum frame, 120mm of front and rear wheel travel, and quality builds for the price. Its versatile geometry excels on smooth to moderately rough intermediate descents with quick handling and a lively demeanor. A remarkably calm suspension platform gives it a zippy and efficient feel on the climbs and in rolling terrain. The build is budget-minded but functional with thoughtful component choices like wide handlebars and a dropper seat post that helps to enhance rider comfort and control. Whether you're just getting into the sport or upgrading to your first full-suspension bike, we feel this is one of the best values out there.
Should I Buy This Bike?
Whether you're just starting out or upgrading to your first full-suspension mountain bike, the reasonably priced Siskiu D7 is an excellent, affordable option to consider. With a slick-looking aluminum frame, modern trail riding geometry, and a quality build (for the price), this versatile bike is a blast to ride on a huge range of trails without breaking the bank. Distributed and sold directly to the consumer by bikesonline.com, Polygon bikes are known for their impressive value. The bike gets shipped straight to your doorstep with minimal assembly required (using the included tools) to get out on the trail. It isn't just the price that impressed us, however, as this short travel trail bike performs much better than we expected.
The hydroformed ALX alloy frame has a killer paint job and a moderate trail riding geometry that not only looks the part but acts it too. With 120mm of rear-wheel travel paired with a 120mm fork, the Siskiu D7 excels on fast, flowy terrain and moderately rough intermediate-level trails alike. It feels quick, responsive, and playful and inspires the confidence to push your limits and improve your skills. On the uphills, the suspension platform is calm, and this bike is a zippy and efficient climber despite its moderate 33 lb weight. Additionally, it comes equipped with a quality, budget-friendly component specification, including a dropper post (a rarity at this price point), that is ready to rip straight out of the box. If you're operating on a budget but looking to get into the sport or upgrade from an old hardtail, check out the Siskiu D7.
Often, full-suspension bikes in the under $2,000 price range can be pretty underwhelming out on the trail. While it may not be some $5,000+ dollar superbike, in the context of affordability we found the Siskiu D7 to be a very fun bike to ride. It has a playful character and a relatively lively feel with responsive handling and a versatile trail riding geometry. Considering its shorter 120mm of travel, we found it to be the most fun to ride on smoother, flowier terrain and moderately rough trails that aren't too rough or steep.
BikesOnline.com makes it easy to get on the trail with a straightforward unboxing and assembly process and all the tools you need to put this bike together and start having fun. Its moderate modern geometry and 120mm of front and rear travel give the Siskiu D7responsive handling and a distinctly lively and playful feel. We found it to be surprisingly versatile, performing well in nearly all situations on the climbs and descents. Thoughtful aspects of the build, like the well-appointed cockpit that includes a wide handlebar and a dropper seat post, also help to enhance comfort, control, and confidence out on the trail. We feel this is a great entry-level bike for the rider seeking to progress their skills and have a good time doing it.
The Siskiu D7 is a fun and lively descender that performs well on the descents when kept within its short travel limits. The moderate geometry helps to keep it nimble with responsive handling, while 120mm of front and rear travel smooth over moderately rough terrain while retaining an energetic and playful attitude. The price to build ratio is also quite high, with a quality component specification that comes together well when the rubber meets the dirt.
Polygon gave the Siskiu D7 a moderate (by today's standards) geometry that suits its 120mm travel length and lends itself well to cross country style trail riding on smooth to moderately rough terrain. The 67-degree head tube angle helps to keep the handling sharp, feels relatively composed at speed, and is confident in intermediate-level terrain. The 465mm reach on our size large test bike provides a reasonably roomy cockpit that avoids being too stretched out for a comfortable but not too aggressive descending position. A modest 1,189mm wheelbase and 436mm chainstays combine to keep this bike highly maneuverable and are one of the reasons it feels so nimble and easy to control. While its geometry isn't necessarily "progressive" or "long and slack", we feel it is appropriate for the Siskiu D7's travel length and intended purpose.
With 120mm of front and rear wheel travel, the Siskiu D7 falls at the shorter end of the travel spectrum. Polygon employs a faux-bar suspension platform to control the rear wheel travel, which is a linkage-driven single pivot design. We found this design to provide relatively good small bump sensitivity, a supportive mid-stroke, and ample progression to avoid harsh bottom outs on larger impacts. Along with the shorter travel length, the mid-stroke support helps to give this bike its lively and relatively playful character, encouraging the rider to pump and pop their way down the trail. Considering it has only 120mm of travel, we found it performs best on flowy, smooth trails and even through some moderate doses of the chunk. It does have its limits, however, and we definitely found them while testing. You can get down just about anything on this bike, but if you're interested in tackling steeper, rougher, more aggressive descents, we feel you'd be better off looking into bikes with more travel and a longer and slacker geometry.
The Siskiu D7 is a surprisingly adept, capable, and efficient bike on the uphills. Its geometry is comfortable, handling is crisp and intuitive, and it has a very calm and supportive pedaling platform. At 33 lbs, it isn't the lightest bike out there, but we feel its weight is actually quite reasonable considering the price. Regardless, several PR's on climbs during testing confirmed our impressions of this short travel rig's solid climbing performance.
Weighing in at 33 lbs without pedals, our size large test bike doesn't necessarily qualify as being super lightweight. When you consider, however, that many carbon fiber trail bikes that cost three times as much (or more) than the Siskiu D7 weigh around 30 lbs, 33 lbs doesn't really seem that hefty. On the trail, that weight is barely noticeable as this bike feels far from sluggish. The 76-degree effective seat tube angle supports the rider nicely up above the bottom bracket and power transfer feels direct and efficient down into the pedals. The moderate length reach is roomy enough and the seated pedaling position is quite comfortable whether you're scrambling up a steep section or picking your way through a technical rock garden. Handling is quick and the Siskiu is highly maneuverable thanks to the combination of its shorter wheelbase and 67-degree head tube angle. .
One thing that really stood out about the Siskiu D7 was just how calm the rear suspension felt when pedaling. According to their website, they've revised the kinematics for a higher level of anti-squat which sounds about right based on our experience. While seated, there was virtually no noticeable pedal bob or wasted energy through suspension movement. Out of the saddle, there was a tiny bit of pedal-induced bobbing, but it was minimal compared to some other bikes we've tested. That said, it still seemed to react well to small bumps and maintain solid climbing traction in most conditions and situations. Additionally, the Rock Shox Deluxe Select+ rear shock has a compression damping switch and the fork has a compression dial that can be used for a more locked-out feel for extended climbs on paved or dirt roads.
While budget-conscious, Polygon thoughtfully chose the components on the Siskiu D7 for their quality and functionality. The Shimano Deore 11-speed drivetrain is a great example. This setup has crisp shifting and all the range of 12-speed drivetrains, just in a more cost-effective 11-speed package. The 2.25-inch wide Schwalbe Nobby Nic tires are a bit narrow for our taste, but they are relatively fast-rolling while still providing good pedaling traction in a wide range of conditions. Again, the cockpit setup lends itself to precise steering and the Entity Void saddle proved to be quite comfortable with just the right amount of padding and an agreeable shape.
The Siskiu D7 is built around a slick-looking ALX Alloy frame with a looks-more-expensive-than-it-is paint job. The frame has 120mm of rear faux-bar suspension paired with a 120mm travel fork. Small frame sizes come with 27.5-inch wheels only, Medium can be ordered in 27.5-inch or 29-inch, and Large and XL frames are available with 29-inch wheels only (Be sure to check Polygon's sizing and geometry chart to find the right size for your height). The frame has front and rear thru-axles, molded chainstay protection, internal cable routing, and one bottle cage mount on the downtube. While the components on the Siskiu D7 are far from flashy, trust us when we say that the build is quite nice for the price.
Polygon has equipped the Siskiu D7 with a RockShox suspension package to control the 120mm of front and rear-wheel travel. A RockShox Deluxe Select+ handles the rear suspension and features a rebound adjustment and 2-position compression damping/climbing switch. The fork is a RockShox Recon Silver RL with an adjustable air spring and external rebound and compression adjustments. The Recon is far from our favorite fork and we're a little disappointed that it doesn't have a Boost front axle, but at this price point, it's hard to complain too much.
We think Polygon made a great choice with the 11-speed Shimano Deore drivetrain on the Siskiu D7. It may lack the "cool factor" of a 12-speed drivetrain, but it works very well, has plenty of range, and helps to keep the price of the bike down without sacrificing performance. It also features a threaded bottom bracket and durable Shimano Deore alloy cranks. Shimano MT201 hydraulic disc brakes perform the slowing and stopping duties. They aren't the most powerful brakes around, but they are reliable and work well once you get used to their feel.
The Siskiu D7 rolls on a set of Entity X15 rims laced to Shimano hubs. These rims are tubeless-ready and come pre-taped, you'll just need to purchase from tubeless valve stems and sealant to finish setting them up tubeless. This is a relatively inexpensive upgrade that we feel is well worth it. The Schwalbe Nobby Nic is a versatile and relatively fast-rolling tyre that performs well on a wide range of surfaces, and the Performance version can be set up tubeless. We feel you could easily enhance the overall performance and ride feel of this bike by upgrading to a higher volume tubeless tire setup.
The cockpit consists mostly of Entity, Polygon's house brand, components. We feel they did a great job creating a comfortable and responsive front end with a nice, modern width 780mm alloy handlebar and a short 45mm alloy stem. An Entity Void saddle proved to be quite comfortable with a medium level of cushioning and a crowd-pleasing shape. One of the highlights of the build is the Tranz-X dropper seat post that allows you to raise and lower your saddle with the press of a lever. Size large and XL frames come with a 170mm travel dropper, while small and medium sizes come with a 150mm post. Bikes in this price range often come with rigid seatposts, so it is refreshing to see a dropper on the Siskiu D7.
With the Siskiu D7, Polygon has managed to create a versatile short travel trail bike at a very reasonable price. Polygon's direct-to-consumer sales model helps to keep the price low while still providing a quality frame and reliable components. The price to performance ratio is also quite high, and this bike is an efficient climber and a quick and playful descender. The cost of modern mountain bikes is a significant barrier to entry for many riders but the Siskiu D7 proves that you don't have to completely break the bank to get into the sport or upgrade to a full-suspension bike.